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GM Yuri Averbakh is Checkmating Covid

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – AUGUST 29, 2017: Yuri Averbakh, a 95-year-old grandmaster, plays a chess match against four-year-old chess player Mikhail Osipov at Ostankino television centre. Sergei Bobylev/TASS

At age 99, Yuri Averbakh has spent the better part of of his life checkmating opponents but off the board, it appears that he used his famous chess stubbornness to checkmate COVID. Multiple sources have confirmed that the world’s oldest chess grandmaster has been released from a Moscow hospital to continue recovering from Covid-19 at home.

Yuri Averbakh was born on February 8, 1922 in Kaluga. Averbakh’s father was of German Jewish heritage and his mother was Russian and an Eastern Orthodox Christian which made Yuri an especially rare blend of religions and nationalities for the time period.

Yuri Averbakh’s first major tournament success didn’t come until the age of 27 when he took first place at the 1949 Moscow Chess Championship. Three years later, Averbakh earned the Grandmaster title. His greatest tournament triumph came in 1954 when Yuri won the USSR Chess Championship.

Perhaps Averbakh’s greatest contribution to chess is as a writer and endgame theorist. His many books on endgame theory are among the best ever written and his chess autobiography “Averbakh’s Selected Games” is a testament to his skill as a writer and a chess master.

As a chess player, Yuri Averbakh has always employed an ultra solid style that almost always blunts the attacks of more aggressive players. While not known as a swashbuckling chess player, Yuri is certainly capable of launching devastating attacks when the conditions are correct as seen in his 1947 victory over Vladimir Zak:

We at Daily Chess Musings wish Yuri Averbakh the best in his recovery and look forward to celebrating his 100th birthday with our chess community on February 8, 2022.

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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